Last night Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC’s The Last Word took Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) to task for her agriculture subsidy hypocrisy.
Do you think teabaggers will notice or care? Nah. *IOKIYAR!
Lawrence O’Donnell: Time for tonight’s rewrite. Republican freshmen who rode to office on the support of free market worshiping tea partiers now have a little problem which, no surprise here, is how much they really love socialism. As we’ve discussed in this space before there is good socialism like Social Security and Medicare and there is bad socialism, wasteful socialism like agriculture subsidies.
There are fifteen Republican freshmen on the House Agriculture Committee, the group of lawmakers who will have to deal with the fifteen to twenty billion dollars this country spends every year in handouts, agriculture subsidies.
And, as first noted in a report by Politico several of those fifteen Republicans have actually received hundreds of thousands of dollars in farm subsidies themselves over the years.
Farm subsidies have only one purpose – to protect farmers and only farmers from the cruelties of the free market. But tea partiers and Republicans like to pretend that the free market has no cruelties. Sure, it has winners and losers, but the losers, they’re not entrepreneurial enough. They don’t really want to work. That’s why tea partiers and Republicans oppose extending unemployment benefits in a recession when the cruelties of the free market leave millions of people out of work.
Missouri Republican Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, a freshman, crystallized tea party limited government philosophy during her campaign in twenty ten.
Vicky Hartzler: We are a people who honor life, support the individual liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, and believe in the government taking from us in the form of taxes only the minimum required to safeguard our freedom and familes.
Lawrence O’Donnell: Only the minimum required to safeguard our freedom and families.
It turns out that there is absolutely no one elected to federal office now, no one, who believes that. No Republican has introduced a bill to abolish all of the government programs that do not safeguard our freedom, but do make life more liveable.
Congresswoman Hartzler and her husband have received nearly three quarters of a million dollars from the federal government for their farm. How much money did the federal government give you for driving a taxi or running a dry cleaning business? Nothing. Not a penny. In fact the federal government took money from you to give directly and without any questions to Vicky Hartzler….
* it’s okay if you’re a republican
The hypocrisy is stunning in its boldness.
From an April 28, 2011 town hall:
….Question: Thank you. Uh, my name’s [….], I live in Warrensburg so I’m one of your constituents.
Representative Hartzler: Yes, I know you, [….].
Question: Yeah. Um, we’ve talked before. I like the title of plan, Path to Prosperity because when I look at it, and particularly with all the dramatic problem of debt, why is the plan to prosperity cutting important government programs, for example Pell Grants? We have a town in the Ozarks right now that gonna be drowning because we haven’t rebuilt their levies. Cutting things like that, while people in your income bracket are going to see again their taxes fall even more in this plan to prosperity. If, what you say is true, our debt is so terrible, why don’t we increase revenue a bit, particularly on people in your income bracket, because I’m going to assume that you, you made in the top two percent of all income earners in this country? You don’t?
Representative Hartzler: I have no idea.
Voice: How do you know?
Question: Well, I mean, you, you, you’ve, you filed [crosstalk] reports between three, well, I mean, I’m answering how I know. You filed reports indicating you were somewhere between three to thirteen million dollars with the Congressional [inaudible], right?
Representative Hartzler: No.
Question: You haven’t?
Representative Hartzler: No [inaudible]. Anyway. Let me answer your [crosstalk] question.
Question: But why don’t we increase revenue some? After all, if we use the household thing, if you [inaudible crosstalk] got a problem then somebody gets another job.
Representative Hartzler: Okay, [….]. All right. [scattered applause] Yeah. [inaudible crosstalk] Oh. My hu, let me get, if you want to get personal I’ll explain. We have fifty employees. Now, we have a choice come tax day. My husband and I, do we send Washington, D.C. more money or do we go hire someone? You, some people don’t understand that people, business owners, uh, have a choice on tax day….
“…Now, we have a choice come tax day. My husband and I, do we send Washington, D.C. more money or do we go hire someone?…”
Or, do you take almost three quarter of a million dollars in federal agriculture subsidies while railing against socialism and welfare. Just asking.